WINSLOW — As far as Winslow softball coach Steve Bodge was concerned, the playoffs began Wednesday when the Black Raiders welcomed Nokomis to LaVeriere Field.

The Warriors certainly held up their end of the bargain as well.

Nokomis (9-5) scored three runs in the top of the eighth — two of which on a one-out single from freshman Austin Leighton — and held on from there for a 4-1 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B victory over Winslow (11-3).

“It was a great game all the way around,” Nokomis coach J.D. McLellan said. “It was one of those games that was fast so you knew it was going to be a really great game.”

While she was ultimately saddled with the loss, it was nonetheless a strong effort in the circle from Winslow starter Hannah Doble. The senior right-hander went the distance, allowed four runs, gave up six hits, walked three, hit one batter and tallied 13 strikeouts. Doble’s counterpart, Libby Dunivan, was equally effective as she allowed just the one run on three hits while walking two and striking out six.

“Libby is top notch and Hannah had … probably her best game,” Bodge said. “I don’t know if she got tired or not, but they got timely runners on base. They did what they had to do to get lead-off runners on base and we didn’t get enough lead-off runners on base. They outplayed us.”

While Nokomis ultimately emerged with the win, it was Winslow — who closes with a pair of tough road games at Leavitt (10-3) and Gardiner (14-0) — that struck first when Kelsey Houston drew a walk and stole second to start a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. Paige Veilleux then won a 10-pitch at-bat against Dunivan with a single to center to plate Houston and give the Black Raiders a 1-0 lead.

The advantage would not last, though, as the Warriors tied the game in the top half of the next inning when Audrey Temple scored on a double to left by Sydney Hanson.

Winslow nearly scored the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh when Bailey Robbins — pinch-hitting for Liz Pullen — reached on an error with two outs. Pullen, having re-entered for Robbins, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, but that would be as close as she would get as Dunivan bounced back with a strikeout to end the threat.

Nokomis wasted little time in applying pressure in top of the eighth, as Temple was hit by a pitch and both Hanson and Dunivan reached on balls hit to third to load the bases. On each of the two hits there was no throw to first with the Black Raiders wary of throwing the ball across the diamond and giving up the potential go-ahead run with the speedy Temple on third.

“She’s a fast runner on third, and you can’t really throw it and give up any extra runs,” Bodge said. “You get bases loaded (and) you take your chances.”

Winslow dodged one potential pitfall when Mikayla Charters — who was on base twice prior with a walk and a single — popped up to the catcher, Veilleux. They would not escape unscathed, though, as Leighton sharply hit the ball on the ground to the gap between third and short to plate both Temple and Hanson.

“I was really nervous,” Nokomis’ freshman third baseman said. “My adrenaline, I could just feel it and I could feel being so nervous but I was confident that we had to do something for our team.”

The Warriors tacked on one more on an infield single from Shannon Kasprzak, and in the bottom half of the inning Nokomis escaped with the extra-inning win thanks to a 6-3 double play from Temple after catching a pop up to short and a line out to first.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Evan_Crawley